Italians in Bristol


Nowadays it’s not unusual to see Italians travelling abroad to fine a job and explore new cultures.

This time, it’s Italians going abroad to take part in an Erasmus programme. My name is Marco, and my colleague’s called Selene we are twenty-something university graduates doing an internship at Hunter Language School and living the dream ;) We chose to come to Bristol for our Erasmus and as soon as we got here we realised it was not only a good decision, but the best decision we could have made.

Bristol is a very creative, musical city and often described as ‘vibrant’, there are many street artists, pubs, discos, and at the same time it’s a very colourful city, thanks to the many street art murals, old buildings and if you look around you see an explosion of colour, it’s amazing!

In the summer, every weekend sees a different festival with interesting and varied themes, music, art, traditional, food and delicious local ciders. Here you can find many really unique events, such as the Balloon Fiesta, which fills the sky with beautiful hot air balloons for 4 full days, and it bring thousands of tourists in the city.

Bristol is the home town of the "Green" attitude, with environmentally-friendly initiatives all over the place and beautiful green parks and spaces for residents and tourists to enjoy. For an Italian who is in a new country with totally different weather from back home, it is essential to have the opportunity to relax, read, study, play sports and hangout with friends on the greens.

The weather can be a little problematic for Italians; it’s not quite what we are used to. From hot to cold and from rain to sun in just a few minutes, it’s a bit of a shock at first. You can forget the Italian summer, the sea, sun and as you know it, and all day wearing shorts and t-shirts. But we’ve discovered so many activities, to replace the sea!

The UK and Bristol is big on sport, there are a huge range of sporting activities. Football is the national sport, five-a-side is popular but be prepared for different rules to ours with a more physical aspect, also popular are rugby, tennis and climbing. Bristol Sports Centres are some of best we’ve ever seen, complete and ready for any kind of sport you can think of! It is not expensive but not cheap, like the Italian prices, but the quality is high. If you don’t want to spend, Bristol is the English capital of the bicycle. The respect that people have towards cyclists is brilliant. There are bike lanes everywhere, but bring a couple of locks, safety first! The city is great to walk around and explore and all areas are accessible by foot, though beware, there are a few hills. The bus service isn’t the best in England, and it's not the cheapest either, experience the city by foot if you want the best experience possible!

But the main reason for our trip is to learn and improve English.

In Bristol we found the right atmosphere to work and study, there are people from all of the world, Spain, Germany, Poland, France, China, Japan, Russia, America to name a few. So learning English is very simple, people are friendly and happy to chat, and mostly the accent and intonation of Bristolians are easier to understand.

Working and studying in Hunter Language School has given us the opportunity to meet a lot of different people, and the main rule of the school is: “learn English and have fun and help each others”. It’s a great feeling being part of the team and to work with the teachers, students and staff to help the students and provide a great atmosphere for learning.

One ‘problem’ for an Italian in Bristol is food!

The first is coffee, it will be missed, so put a “Moka” in your bag or you’ll try the English tea ;) We have to be honest, the English tea is really great! The Italian aperitif is very difficult to find here, but Bristol is an international city where you will be able to find everything, specialist cuisines from around the world are available if you look, and you don’t need to look too hard!

The Italian Idiom goes: " Every country has its own customs"

You have to try The English Breakfast, Bake Potatoes and the national food, Fish & chips!

Dinner is around 7pm, and night-life starts with the typical "Drink" at 8.30am. It’s a little different from Italy but to be honest, it’s a good way to start a night out.

Bristol is a great destination for an Italian who wants to try to live away from home, or simply to add to his curriculum an experience abroad. If you have the chance, the advice is to try this unforgettable experience!

Music, art, relax and sports are the heart of this city! Are you ready?

Blog by Selene Carrozzo and Marco Anania